ON our office map a blue star on the white waste area of northwestern Canada marks the frontier home of Hilda Rose. From her Peace River claim have come letters enlisting our warm sympathy in a struggle which, though it seems almost unparalleled, doubtless has its counterpart in many an unchronicled life. Readers will remember Mrs. Rose’s letters written from her American Stump Farm which we published in February, March, and April 1927. This later correspondence comes to us through the kindness of Dr. Mary Hobart of Massachusetts. ¶Another pioneer, though in the more urban field of advertising, is Earnest Elmo Calkins, senior partner of a prominent New York firm. A timely supplement to his paper is Mr. Robert Updegraff’s report of the following interview which appeared in a recent issue of the Magazine of Business: —
‘You have not seen it in the newspapers,’ the banker said, ‘but Gibraltar has fallen. Of course, ’ he hastened to add, ‘ the rock still stands there, majestic symbol of impregnability, and of course it would be practically impossible for an unfriendly ship to get past it. But there lies the point: it is no longer necessary to get past Gibraltar. Where sheer force of frontal attack would fail, imagination has surmounted it. A murderously equipped force could now fly over this great fortress; modern guns could stand well out of range and shoot over it, devastating the country behind it. For practical purposes it is to-day little more than a great museum rock, a relic of 1914 security.’
This analogy, which the banker applied to his own business, seems significant also of the conservative stand-pat attitude of the great fire and life insurance companies. The rock of Gibraltar has been for years the symbol, the trade-mark, of one of the greatest of these companies. The waning strength of Gibraltar under modern progress is a material illustration of the changing spiritual values created in a new world by the upheaval of a great war. Gibraltar has never been taken. It has been quietly superseded. Its passing is a warning that other standards and symbols by which the insurance people set such store are no longer what they were. Forces are at work which will eventually affect the selling of insurance. Insurance, like all business, must adjust itself to the new thinking, the new buying, the new conceptions of good will, reputation, friendly relations, and intimate acquaintance, which play so large a part in the success of some of the greatest corporations. It is not merely advertising that is needed. Advertising is but a means of expression. The insurance companies need a better understanding of their own place in the social scheme, which advertising would give them.
A young English critic, I. A. Richards is on the jump. He began his present essay in New York, continued it in San Francisco, and finished it in Japan. No wonder it lias a continental flavor. ¶The Reverend Samuel McChord Crothers, of the First Church, Cambridge, is the most quotable minister alive. ¶Together with Mr. James Stephens and Mr. Edward O’Reilly, Margaret Prescott Montague has had a hand in perpetuating the genuine lore of our lumber camps. But of all her Tony Beaver stories, several of which have appeared in the Atlantic, this latest is, we believe, the most gigantic.
Charles Prince, an American living in Paris, pays a tribute which many have felt to be due. ¶A noted trial lawyer of Chicago, Edwin Hedrick speaks his full mind about murder trials and the death penalty. A trial of quite another color was that legal pantomime in which Kenneth Griggs Merrill, formerly an officer in the United States Navy, took part. ¶When, in his analysis of the Great Reputations of the war, Captain B. H. Liddell Hart came to Gallieni, he was able to give support to a judgment extraordinary for its admiration—and its stricture. Here is a fresh reading of history. ¶As president of Revillon Frères, Captain Thierry Mallet, a distinguished French bleu, has yearly access to the Arctic Circle and some curious friends. ¶It has been said that the verses of Florence Call Abbott are ‘authentic reincarnations of Emily Dickinson.’ John Bach McMaster is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. Three decades ago he began to earn his great reputation with a paper on the Third Term. At this political juncture it is fitting that he should review the field seriously and impartially. ¶Long training as a newspaper editor has enabled Marion L. Fox to allege facts which are generally verified by subsequent events. It is no secret that Mr. Fox is a Democrat.
Robert Dollar is head of the steamship company that bears his name. Although the Dollar Line is the only conspicuous example of American success in the merchant marine, it should be observed that the stringent provisions of the La Follette Bill have compelled the company to place all its ships under British registry. Mr. Dollar’s paper is drawn from an address which he was unable to deliver at Trinity College. Herbert W. Horwill, for ten years London correspondent of the New York Evening Post and a close student of church affairs, writes us that the Revised Prayer Book has so far been the best seller of the year in the English bookstores. Neil Forbes Grant, foreign editor of the Morning Post of London for half a dozen years, now gives his time largely to writing plays.
Mazo de la Roche, author of the Atlantic prize novel, has been spending the summer on the Maine coast. For the benefit of those readers who may have missed an installment we print below the synopsis of the narrative thus far: —
When Captain Philip Whiteoak and Adeline Court were married in India in 1848, they were the most brilliant couple in their military station. But the inheritance of property in Canada prompted Philip to sell his commission and bring his wife and infant daughter Augusta to Ontario. A great stone manor house was built and a thousand acres of wilderness transformed into the semblance of an English park. ’ the estate is called, after the military station where the couple first met.
The story is of the present time. Adeline, her husband long since dead, is an indomitable old woman, eagerly on the verge of completing a full century of life. She has two surviving sons, themselves old men: Nicholas, whose wife left him for a young army officer, and Ernest, bachelor. Her daughter Augusta, by marrying a young Englishman who later inherited a title, has become Lady Buckley. A third son, Philip, is dead. His two marriages embarrassed the declining estate with six children. From the first marriage came Meg, the only girl, and Renny, now master of the cohesive little Whiteoak clan. From the second came Eden and Piers, now in the twenties, Finch, sixteen, and Wakefield, nine.
The relations of this pungent family are complicated and intensified by two further marriages contracted by members of its youngest generation. Piers arouses unbridled resentment and abuse by bringing home as his bride a girl illegitimate birth. She is Pheasant, whose father, Maurice Vaughan, is a friend of Renny, and had been engaged to Meg until she learned of his fault. Eden in the meantime has upset Whiteoak tradition by writing a volume of poems. During a visit to his New York publisher, he meets Alayne Archer, a girl of sheltered and cultivated life, who, on the death of her parents, has become a publisher’s reader. On the news their engagement, the family at Jalna naïvely conclude that the girl is rich, and the pair, arriving after their marriage, are extended welcome in sharp contrast to the hostility shown to Piers and Pheasant. Alayne finds adjustment to the members of Eden’s family peculiarly difficult. But, as her residence at Jalna continues, one figure presses into her consciousness with disturbing force. It is Renny, master of the clan.
Miss de la Roche sends us another appealing note which the publication of ‘Jalna’ has brought to her study.
April 18, ’27
The writer of this note is only a plain mechanic, a native of Belgium who has lost 7 boys in the war and 2 girls in the Red Cross, also his wife.
Came to America to leave in ‘ Peace,’ and now I am finishing my invention who will saved Millions, Millions to U. S. and I hope Canada will get her shares about it, but Mademoiselle de la Roche mes petites economies are all gone and Now, I will have to get my Patents, but have not a cent.
As I have read your great success writing Novels, I send you that poor missive asking you if you will be aimable to help me to get my Patents, only $85.00, which will be returned to you as soon my invention is sold, with compound interest. Before the war, Mlle, de la Roche, I was well-to-do, but have lost everything, 2 manufacturing plans, and family, and it is very hard, Mademoiselle, to start life again with my 72 years, but with the volonté and courage I will succeed again.
Wishing you a eontinuel success in your ligne as ‘Autoress’ I am, Mlle de la Roche
A. M. C. (machinist)
Old Believers in a New World.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
Reading, interestedly, ‘The Old Believer,’ by Albert Rhys Williams, in the July Atlantic, it occurred to me that you might be interested to know that two colonies of these archaic Russian Nonconformists have settled in the United States: one, with whom this Household dwells in amity, another at Marianna, Pa. Our neighbors have their own church and ‘priest.’ The latter, an erstwhile grocer, lays about him with the stinging whip of orthodoxy, much to the chagrin of the Modernists among us whose daughters heretically bob their hair and sing and dance. It is a ‘sin’ for a baby to eat the candy ‘teacher’ hands her in Big, or Little, Lent. Fasting twentyeight weeks out of the year; abstaining from meat, flesh of fowl, milk, animal fats, sweets — one wonders how the sturdy babies and their elders maintain their physical balance. Following ‘Lents’ the devastating feasts set in.
Our bearded patriarchs toil on the docks near by. Lake Erie beckoned them long ago from the lower regions of Pennsylvania where they originally came from a remote Russian province and persecution. Thrift, honesty, simple living, with a deadly thirst for the current vodka, mark these stolid people. Their children have come to us for twenty years for recreation, kindergarten, and social and ‘neighborly’ service.
When death comes to one of them a pitiful little cortège winds down the street to the church around the corner, with the body of the departed carried on an open stretcher by loving hands as in the olden days in the Volga province. The journey to the desolate cemetery on the bleak hillside — then faces turned homeward toward ‘Erie with Norse-blue eyes,’ to more toil, more vodka, and some day soon will come the last of the Old Believers and his strange Odyssey.
The opinion of one who, like Mr. Bland, has been on the spot.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
I have read with the greatest interest and keenest delight Mr. J. O. P. Bland’s article in the July Atlantic, ‘China: And Yet Again.’ As a missionary priest just returned after five years in the interior of China, it is refreshing indeed to read something about China written obviously by one who has no axe to grind, no constituency to fear, and from the point of view of facts. Since my return home I have been astonished and dismayed at the amount of misleading, vicious propaganda that has been and still is being broadcasted throughout the country by Chinese students, and others, on behalf of the so-called ‘Nationalist’ party in China. As Mr. Bland so ably points out, the ‘political activities of the Cantonese faction’ do not ‘represent a real awakening of national consciousness and genuine patriotic ideals.’ What the Cantonese faction does represent is a skillfully imposed and wholly artificial state of mind among millions of lovable, peace-loving, friendly Chinese, who, bewildered by the delusion of the ‘Republic,’ ground down by rapacious officials, overrun, looted, raped, and impressed by armed coolie mercenaries, at last in desperation are led to believe by lying tongues that somehow, and in some way, the foreigner is at the bottom of all the trouble.
Would that Mr. Bland’s article could be reprinted in every newspaper in the country. Sincerely,
H. S. S.
What does the Fourth mean to you?
SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
When I was a little girl my father used to love to say, ‘Well, it has been a very quiet Fourth,’ and we, sensing the coming of that safety and sanity now so much applauded and dreading it, used to contradict him as politely as possible and say that, in our judgment, it had been a very noisy and joyous Fourth. Now I myself have reached the age when the Fourth seems ‘quiet,’ as of course it is, compared with those explosive older days when the delicious smell of gunpowder was in the air. Something else has gone out of the day too. It went with the Great War. Never again can one read the tales of the Revolutionary War with quite the same simple hatred for Britain which children brought up on the histories of thirty years ago certainly had.
One of the most impressive Fourths I can remember was spent in a small town near the summit of the Sierras. The summer visitors were rather shallow and frivolous and no preparations had been made to make the birthday of our nation any different from any other day. There was an old man in the village whose fading eyes were already fixed on things invisible to the rest of us. He was a Civil War veteran and, fragile as he was, he had arranged a carriage block as a platform, put a table on it with a Bible, decorated his impromptu rostrum with a large flag, the bunting quite frayed and stained, and there, in a trembling voice, with that faraway look in his eyes and with one veined brown hand resting on the Bible, he read the Declaration of Independence to that vapid, rather scoffing crowd. That was all. Some of us never forgot our shamed feeling that we had not helped him is his little ceremony of remembrance.
Our quiet Fourth this year began by the head of the family reading aloud after breakfast the Declaration. Then from Lodge’s Story of the Revolution was read a description of Jefferson’s writing of the document, bits about some of the battles, of the sad winter at Valley Forge, of Washington’s indomitable courage and military genius, of the unfit Congress, of the squabbles and jealousies among the states, of ‘Mad Anthony’ Wayne’s dash and Benedict Arnold’s treason, of the rebuke to Lee at Monmouth, and the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown— a pitiful matter of 9000 men, but it ended the war.
We saluted the Revolutionary musket with its powder horn which hangs above our library door and we looked with a new interest at the old splint chair, made by hand in 1750, for that very chair must have been in somebody’s kitchen or common room and if it had had ears could have heard at first hand the news of these skirmishes and battles. That spinning wheel beside the fireplace must have stopped in its whirring for a few minutes as the bulletins passed from mouth to mouth. As we go upstairs we look again at the old mahogany clock on the landing. This one has a very plain case, an unexciting face, and soft, pewter hands. And as all the brass was needed for cannon, this brave old veteran has only wooden insides!
A very quiet Fourth! Yes, God be thanked.
MABEL CRAFT DEERING
Freshmen look in the glass.
STANFORD UNIVERSITY, CALIFORNIA
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
In these days when so much is being said about college education and college students, it may be interesting to you to hear what college students think of some criticisms of themselves. Dr. Rubinow’s article, ‘The Revolt of a MiddleAged Father,’ in your May number was so interesting that I recommended it to my freshman classes in Citizenship here at Stanford. Their reading cards for the week gave such novel comments that I thought you and Dr. Rubinow might be interested in some of their reactions. I quote herewith a few.
‘Unfortunately this article is quite true. The author shows pretty clearly the tremendous waste of money and energy in college.’
‘ He has, in my opinion, a narrow view of college life.’
‘An article which most college students would read rapidly and then try to forget.’ ‘A discussion of our present “four years of advanced loafing.”’
‘I think that he puts his college expenses too high and that he pays too little attention to the fact that many earn their way through.’
‘ I agree with him. I know in my own case I could work in the daytime and get as much out of night school as I am getting out of college.’
‘ Whether you are getting as much out of college as you should is an individual matter. The knowledge is offered you, but it is not always accepted.’
‘You’re right. I did n’t like this article. The worst of it was he seemed to be right in his accusations. After reading this I felt like quitting college and going to work.’
‘ Evident that Eastern colleges are more expensive than Western.’
‘Makes me feel ashamed to go to college. However, I can make all my expenses at college and do it on $900 per year. Much truth in his article.’
‘Anyway, what is the B.A. degree worth besides permitting one to study for the A.M. — and the A.M. for the Ph.D.?’
(SIGNED) ELMER L. SHIRRELL
Our advertising department specializes in human nature as well as in publicity. Perhaps it is right in considering the following appeal more editorial than commercial. We publish it without cost.
DEAR ATLANTIC, — Kindly insert the following in your next issue and mail me your charge for this. I wish only a small space.
I would like to make the acquaintance of some one who dislikes automobiles, newspapers, radios, commercialism — and who has a taste for the music of Mozart, the philosophy of Spengler, the poetry of Hardy. — R. H. WHELDON